I thought that the statements by the AAA and the AAPA were very interesting. I’ve taken anthropology and biology classes before, but I always forget that “race” is not a thing. I find myself using it all the time and seeing it everywhere but it’s not until I take another class like this that I remember that it’s a false category.
I do like the idea that we are all from the same race – the human race, but I’m glad we had that forensic anthropology article to read about how if race doesn’t exist then how do we identify race when we perform forensic studies on skeletons? And what about the different shapes of the skulls?
I had always been puzzled by that because to me, it contradicted what I learned about race not being an actual method of categorization.
That article was very helpful in explaining that there are varieties of human beings, but not different races.
If I were to encounter someone who was unfamiliar with the topic of the non-existence of biological race, it would be quite difficult to explain the concept to them.
The idea of race is so embedded in the cultures and ideas of the world, especially Western society.
It’s not always meant to be derogatory but it does aid in the subliminal method of separation between one “race” and another.
I would probably reference many of the videos and articles used this week, because they certainly helped me. Like I said before, even as someone who has come in contact with this topic many times, I still find the concept difficult to grasp and to remember. So I would probably have a lot of patience in guiding this person through the process of learning.
First, the person might think that I am saying that everyone is the same. When, of course, that’s simply not true! Part of the wondrous experience of being human is the variety and diversity all around you! So I would explain that though there are differences between us in the way we look, act, speak, or believe, we are still all inherently one race – the human race.
To try and explain that particular concept, I would show them the article that helped me: “Forensic Anthropology and the Concept of Race: If Races Don’t Exist, then Why Are Forensic Anthropologists So Good at Identifying Them?”
This would better help explain the variety in the human structure but ultimately prove that we are still categorized under the same human race.
It might be simpler to explain this to someone who is just simply ignorant and not willfully ignorant. Those that have prejudices towards certain groups of people would be much more difficult to teach this concept. The idea that we are separate races would help rationalize their hatred and feeling of superiority over other “races”. This was true of Europeans and Americans during the time of slavery, when many subscribed to the belief of Polygenism – the belief in many different “Adams” or sources of origin. Unfortunately, this is still a problem today.